Falcons take opener, 7-3: Drop nightcap to Buccaneers, 7-2
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- The Fitchburg State University baseball team earned a spilt with the Buccaneers of Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action this afternoon at Commodore Hendry Field.
The Falcons used a six-hit, five strikeout performance over 6 2/3 innings from senior Tyler Smith to notch a 7-3 victory in the opening contest before senior Daniel Avery tossed a complete-game seven-hitter and struck out 10 as Massachusetts Maritime salvaged a split by posting a 7-2 nightcap triumph.
The host Buccaneers (6-6, 1-1 MASCAC) grabbed the early lead in the second outing on a double by senior Jake Petruzzelli in the first, and that advantage grew to 3-0 in the third on a passed ball and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch by freshman Jackson Simone.
The visiting Falcons (7-14, 1-3 MASCAC) got a run back in the fourth on junior Andrew Mooney's RBI single, but Massachusetts Maritime took control of the contest with a four-run fourth inning rally highlighted by a run-scoring single by sophomore Paul Sances.
Simone's RBI double and a two-run double off the bat of freshman Nick Haley. The Falcons threatened in the late innings and plated their final run in the sixth on junior Sean Maki's (RBI double, as Avery worked out of a pair of bases-loaded situations in the last two frames to give the hosts the split.
Petruzzelli collected two of the Buccaneers' seven hits in the second game triumph, as Avery worked around three walks to improve to 2-1 on the spring. Maki and Mooney combined for five of Fitchburg State's seven nightcap hits, as freshman Kyle Nocera allowed three runs and walked four over the first 1 2/3 innings of work to fall to 0-2 on the mound for the Falcons.
Fitchburg State jumped out to a 3-0 second inning lead in the opener on sophomore Brennan Cuddahy's first inning RBI single that was followed by run-scoring doubles off the bats of junior Nathan Littman and sophomore Noah Milliard in the second, and the Falcons used a three-run fourth inning outburst to extend that margin to 6-0 on an error and RBI singles from junior Drew Mazzeo and freshman Brandon Lefebvre.
Massachusetts Maritime got a pair of runs back in the bottom half of the frame on Petruzzelli's run-scoring double and an RBI groundout by freshman Matt Langan, and the teams traded runs in the top of the sixth on Cuddahy's second RBI single of the game and in the bottom of the seventh on a bases-loaded walk to Simone that accounted for the final margin.
Cuddahy, Maki and Lefebvre each had two hits as part of an 11-hit attack in the opener for Fitchburg State, as Smith allowed two earned runs and worked around three walks in improving to 3-4 on the season.
Junior Benjamin Chiasson issued a walk and recorded the final out to notch his first save of the spring for the Falcons, as the two combined to strand nine base runners in the lid-lifter.
Petruzzelli and junior Connor Kennedy combined for four of Massachusetts Maritime's six hits in the opener, as sophomore Brian Kwedor allowed three earned runs and fanned three over four innings of work to fall to 2-2 on the mound for the Buccaneers.
Massachusetts Maritime heads to Worcester, Mass. on Saturday afternoon to take on Worcester State in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader that begins at Noon, while Fitchburg State travels to Nashua, N.H. on Tuesday evening to square off with Rivier in a non-league outing beginning at 7:05 p.m.
Release courtesy of Massachusetts Maritime Academy SID office